Building the Education Revolution: National Coordinator's Implementation Report, February–September 2009
DEEWR, 28 October 2009
This report covers the implementation of the Building the Education Revolution program from February to September 2009. It outlines the scope of the program, including its three main components and their outcomes. Almost 10,000 schools will receive a total of $1.27 billion in funding under the National School Pride program, which provides funding for capital works and refurbishment. Almost 8,000 schools will receive funding totalling $13.85 billion under the Primary Schools for the 21st Century program, designed to fund construction of libraries, multi-purpose halls, and buildings. $821.8 million has been allocated to the construction or refurbishment of science labs and language centres under the Science and Language Centres for 21st Century Secondary Schools component of the program. The full report is available online.
Subject HeadingsEducation finance
Review of Australian Directions in Indigenous Education 2005–2008 for the Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs
University of South Australia, October 2009
This report comprises a review of Australian Directions in Indigenous Education 2005–2008. It finds that while a number of programs relating to Indigenous students have been introduced, their implementation and success have been uneven, with funding provided limiting their application to short-term approaches. Monitoring of program implementation and provision of long-term funding would help improve the application and outcomes of these measures. Roles and functions need to be defined, and further research and case studies undertaken with collaboration between departments, agencies and schools. The full review is available online. See also article in The Sydney Morning Herald 26 November 2009.
Subject HeadingsEducation research
Adolescent Overload? Report of the Inquiry into Combining School and Work: Supporting Successful Youth Transitions
Commonwealth of Australia, October 2009
The proportion of students engaged in part-time employment has increased over the past two decades, and this report examines the resulting effects and implications. The demands of employment have changed with late-night trading, resulting in students working longer hours. Students need to be aware of their rights around pay and conditions to ensure that they are protected against potential exploitation. Young people achieve a range of generic skills from their employment, and should be given opportunities to receive formal recognition of these. Not all students have equal access to employment, and some may be working out of financial necessity. While programs exist to support at-risk students in transitioning to full-time work or futher study, the efficacy of these should be examined. The full report is available online.
Subject HeadingsEducation policy
Transitions in schooling
Drawing on surveys and focus groups involving students and early career educators, this report examines perceptions about learning with technology in education and training in Australia. Students and educators have access to a range of technologies at their learning institutions and at home; of these, they mostly use computers and the internet. Participants in this range of research activities highlighted a number of benefits of technology, including increased motivation, ease of use, access to information, ability to practise problem-solving and other skills, and control over learning. Technology was also valuable for communication and group work. While online networking sites were popular, responses were mixed about their benefits to learning. Respondents highlighted the need for educators to be knowledgeable about technology; they also highlighted concerns about access, internet filtering, internet speed, and plagiarism issues, raising the need for improved training and greater provision of resources. The full report is available online.
Subject HeadingsInformation and Communications Technology (ICT)
In his foreword to the book, Michael Fullan describes the author as head of a large urban school district in the USA that confronts 'huge problems'; the author, Fullan writes, shows how to 'hold the high ground while tackling daily realities' of this environment. The book examines issues confronting the school leader as an individual, and relationships with the school community, the school board and unions. Topics include strategies for transforming the learning environment, cultivating and working with teacher-leaders, improving the school culture, coping with personal attacks, creating a student-centred learning environment, keeping up with ICT, and establishing 'programs of choice' for students. See distributor's description, which links to excerpts from the publication.
Subject HeadingsSocially disadvantaged
United States of America (USA)
School and community
Curriculum Press, 2009
Spelling is a complex cognitive process, not a simple act of memorisation. Guiding Thinking for Effective Spelling promotes the belief that spelling is a vital part of the communication process, and that when students begin to think about their spelling they become active participants in their own learning and increasingly independent communicators. The authors, experienced literacy educators, present spelling as an engaging inquiry process. They argue that it needs to be supported by a consistent approach across the whole school, and provide guidance on how to create such a supportive learning community. They suggest ways to assess student spelling needs and to adjust teaching practice in order to guide students' thinking about spelling. Adapted from publisher's description, which includes links to a support website and to sample pages from the book.
Teaching and learning
Curriculum Press, 2009
This text examines the classroom strategies associated with assessment for learning, and how they can be integrated into a teaching and learning unit. These strategies include teacher feedback, peer feedback, sharing learning intentions and criteria with the class, strategic questioning, and the encouragement of student reflection, self-monitoring and self-assessment. The strategies are demonstrated in the context of a teaching and learning unit, 'Bushrangers: The gold rush era'. With the unit teachers can build on lesson plans and select activities that complement the teaching and learning already occurring. Teaching tips accompany each lesson plan. The publication also includes activities, worksheets and student work samples, complemented by online material on the Assessment for Learning website. Adapted from publisher's description.
Teaching and learning
Education.au Limited, 2009
This report examines current site blocking practices in schools, with a particular focus on social media, including sites such as YouTube, Facebook and Wikipedia. While these technologies provide opportunities for personalised, collaborative learning, and support the development of digital literacies, teachers and policymakers face a number of barriers in terms of the effective use of these tools in teaching and learning. Issues include teachers' lack of knowledge and confidence in social media, the lack of opportunities to gain experience with using these tools in teaching, and concerns around cyber-safety and cyber-bullying. Further issues include limited bandwidth and the possibility that sites of educational value, such as YouTube and Wikipedia, may be blocked. There is a need for the establishment of a national collaboration of leading jurisdictions, teachers, and other education and ICT experts with the aim of developing best practice approaches around incorporating social media resources into teaching and learning. Adapted from the executive summary of the report, which is available online.
Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
DEECD Victoria, 2009
This report looks at the composition of the teaching service, trends in teacher education, and projected outlooks for the teaching population. It describes the sharp rise in teacher vacancies in the State, in particular for the teaching of languages, mathematics and science, and for teaching in rural areas. It also reports that schools have also found it more difficult to employ teachers of English, the arts and humanities than in past years. Shortages are in part due to an ageing workforce, staff taking long service leave, and insufficient numbers of new teachers. However, despite growing demand in applications for university-based teaching courses, one third of eligible applicants are unsuccessful in achieving a place. The trend toward shorter postgraduate teaching courses has led to more graduates eligible to teach; however, many do not go on to teach. The Victorian Government has introduced a range of initiatives aimed to improve the numbers of teachers in these areas, including the Maths and Science Scholarship Program and the Career Change Program. The full report is available online. See also article in The Age 1 December 2009.
Subject HeadingsTeachers' employment
CREDO, June 2009
A national assessment of charter schools in the USA, this longitudinal, student-level analysis covers more than 70 percent of the nation's students attending such schools. The study looks at student achievement growth on state achievement tests in both reading and maths, examining current student achievement data from 15 states and the district of Columbia, and gauges whether students who attend charter schools fare better than if they had attended a traditional public school. Adapted from publisher's media release June 2009. The full report is available online and the Executive Summary is also separately available. The publisher's website also covers, and responds to, a critique of the report by Dr Caroline Hoxby.
Subject HeadingsEducational evaluation
United States of America (USA)